Mistakes vs. Malpractice

When you go “under the knife” for any reason, there is always going to be some degree of risk involved. Even if you have the best doctor and the best facility that money can buy, medical errors/mistakes can still occur. And, just in case they do, it is important that you have a clear understanding of what constitutes a simple mistake verses what constitutes actual malpractice, which you can sue for.

While every case is unique and while you should always get an opinion on your particular case from a legal professional in order to determine if malpractice has occurred, you can generally tell whether or not it did by considering what is known as the “standard of care.” This means that you have to think about whether the treatment you received is likely and reasonably to have been duplicated exactly by a different medical professional under the same circumstances. If it’s likely that your treatment would have been the same no matter where you’d gone, then you probably don’t have a medical malpractice case on your hands, but if special circumstances, such as a particular action or lack of action on the part of your medical provider, occurred, you likely do have a malpractice case.

You should also be aware that medical malpractice can take many forms. Some of the more common ones include:

lHaving tools or other objects left inside of a patient

lGiving an inaccurate dosage of medication

lPrescribing the wrong medication

lMaking an incision at the wrong site

lDamaging nerves or organs during surgery

lImproperly sterilized equipment

These are just a few of the many forms that malpractice can take, however, so don’t automatically rule out malpractice if your experience doesn’t fit with something on the list. Your best course of action is always to speak with a legal professional to determine if medical malpractice has occurred; after all, you lose nothing by having a consultation and you potentially have a lot to gain, so it’s definitely a wise choice to seek legal counsel.